Age of Ravens

I read this excellent article by Age of Ravens, which talks about the incoming DC Universe reboot and comic book reboots in general, and asks how this could be achieved in an RPG.

The players may be aware that the settings continuity has just been reset, they may not. The same applies to the characters.

So, how could you run a game like this?

My first thoughts were that wouldn’t it be cool to have the characters fight to prevent the world ending, fail, and then discover that the whole of reality has been reset, and is carrying on regardless, just with some major changes.

Then I thought ‘you could do that with Mage’.

Yup. You could. Easily.

Thinking about it, I think it could be run as a bridging campaign between Mage: the Ascension and Awakening.

The New World of Darkness is a paradigmatic shift away from the Old World of Darkness. Similar, but not the same. Familiar, yet alien.

Posted via my geek phone


2 thoughts on “Reality rebooted / Mage campaign idea

  1. In general, these reality-reshaping events (which are almost exclusive to DC, Marvel rarely touches them except for temporary alternate-reality things like Age of Apocalypse or House of M) tend to be not caused by failure, but more often are the result of a “back from the brink” save; a last-ditch all-or-nothing effort to preserve reality in some form, after it's been torn asunder.

    In Crisis on Infinite Earths, all but five alternate universes were destroyed, and these remaining Earths were folded into one. Zero Hour: All of time and space were deleted, so the surviving heroes set off a new Big Bang and recreted the universe. Infinite Crisis, somebody tore the consolidated Earth back into its constituent multiverses – and then some – which then, again, got folded back into one world (well, 52, but that's beyond the scope of this article). Each time, reality gets destroyed, and somebody does something to bring it back … but different.

    This happened in a Werewolf campaign I played once. It wasn't the point of the campaign, though; it happened because we majorly fucked up saving the world, and the GM didn't want to let that stand, so he flanged some stuff and rewound time three months. (This was never explicitly explained, but he suggested the Weaver or the Wyld either put reality back together or gave us a vision of things to come.) Things didn't play out the quite the same the second time round – that would have been too easy – but it still felt like a massive cop-out. I suspect if you were to rig a campaign such that failure was inevitable, and led to this rebuilt universe, the players would get the same feeling of “we fucked up and the GM is trying to fix it”.

    My basic point here is that the players should be the ones to bring reality back. Make it clear that they've saved the day, but with consequences, rather than fucked up, but it didn't matter.

    Of course the danger with reality alteration is that they may get the idea that this is one of the aforementioned “temporary alternate universe” plots, and the intended goal is for them to restore the old status quo. Possibly the trick to avoiding that would be to not make the new universe too different … but that is really an entirely different article, about communicating plot goals to your players, and what to do if they get completely the wrong idea.


  2. I bow before your superior DC-verse knowledge.
    And then some.

    Your 'pulling it back from the brink' point is well taken, and would be a far better idea. I was thinking in a more 'scripted' fashion, like the end of Diablo II, that doesn't always work in an interactive game.
    Players need to feel that they can influence events, and scripting an end result smacks of rail roading.

    Well, that's another campaign idea to add to the list.
    I'm sorted for my retirement…


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